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Orbulon and the Founder of Symol Hole: Part Two


by tashni

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Recap: Orbulon has arrived in Meridell, where he rolled over some of Illusen's tools and eventually fell down Symol Hole. In the Hole, Orbulon accidentally destroyed a priceless statue, which greatly upset the Earth Guardian. Orbulon is about to start his new assignment.

Chapter 2 of 3:

In the forest, and dangerously close to Illusen's glade, Jhudora the Dark Faerie brooded. What was it about Illusen that made her so infuriatingly popular with the Neopets? Jhudora's Cloud was just as easy to get to as Illusen's Glade, and Faerieland was cleaner than muddy old Meridell. Illusen certainly wasn't prettier, either, so why were so many more Neopets taking her quests? With all of the stuff she made them get for her, Illusen had a gorgeous garden, a lavish closet and wealth to spare. Jhudora's furniture needed replacing and she only had the one outfit after the last one got torn in a battle with Chiazilla. The whole situation baffled her.

      Speaking of Illusen's questers, a Kacheek came walking along, polishing off one of Illusen's Cream Cookies. Now was Jhudora's chance to find out why Neopets liked that raggedy Earth Faerie so much.

      She pointed a long finger at the Kacheek. "You! Come here."

      The Kacheek stopped dead in his tracks.

      "Didn't you hear me? I said come here."

      He started to sweat and his eyes wandered over the trees around him.

      Jhudora stomped over to the Neopet. "Now then, Kacheek, I have a question for you. Why is it that you're here instead of at my Cloud?"

      The Kacheek swallowed hard before stuttering incoherently.

      "Well, spit it out!"

      "Don't hurt me, Madam Jhudora! I just wanna go home!"

      She rolled her eyes. "Yeesh, just because a Faerie's bent on world domination, all of the sudden that makes her 'evil.' Look, kid, I'm not gonna hurt you. Just answer my question: Why are you doing one of Illusen's Quests?"

      The Kacheek started sobbing. "I didn't mean to get into trouble. I just wanted a Cream Cookie because I'm hungry."

      A light flashed on in Jhudora's head. Neopets didn't seem to be terribly fond of her Poisonous Lollypops, but she had no idea why. They tasted like grape and were not actually poisonous; it was just a creepy Dark Faerie name. Could it be that Illusen's Cream Cookies were the secret to her success? "Well, Kacheek, I am done with you. You may leave now."

     The Kacheek scampered away as fast as he could to his little Meridellian home.

     'Hm,' thought Jhudora. 'Illusen must put some magic ingredient in her cookies to make Neopets love them so much. That lousy cheat. I'll get her, I'll get her good. I'll steal her Cream Cookie recipe and then I'll have the devoted questers!' With an evil cackle, she walked deeper into the forest toward Illusen's Glade.

     ***

     The Founder led Orbulon down yet another dismal, torch-lit passage that got warmer the farther they went. This reminded Orbulon of an unpleasant experience he had on Mystery Island, so he hoped the Founder knew what he was doing.

      Another cavern opened up in front of them, this one with a giant bowl resting in the center with flames licking up from it. A red canine Petpet approached them, his posture regal and calm. Orbulon remained silent in awe of the fire-red Anubis and his cavern.

      "Fire Guardian," said the Founder, "this is Orbulon. He upset the Earth Guardian, but I believe you may be able to harness his energy for the good of our army."

      The Fire Guardian nodded and looked at Orbulon. He motioned for him to follow him and the little alien obeyed. As they walked, the Fire Guardian spoke. "Orbulon, this flame in the center of my training camp is called the Everlasting Flame. It is a symbol of the power of all Petpets, and the unstoppable spirit that Symol Hole represents. Since Symol Hole's founding, that fire has never been extinguished."

      Orbulon did not understand everything the Fire Guardian had just said, but it stirred within him a respect for the fire, the Guardian, and all of Symol Hole.

     Wooden targets stood in rows throughout the cavern, and the Fire Guardian stationed Orbulon in front of one. Bringing Orbulon a spear, he said, "The ultimate weapon of a Symol Hole Warrior is the Fire Spear. But before you can wield such a weapon, you must first master its wooden counterpart. Take it."

      Gingerly taking the wood spear, Orbulon eyed it with unease.

      "Does it frighten you?" asked the Anubis.

      Orbulon nodded.

      "It should. It is a powerful thing, the spear of the Fire Guardian. To gain trust in the spear, let us perform an exercise." The Fire Guardian took the spear back and directed Orbulon to stand next to the wooden target. The Guardian stood several paces away and explained that he would hit the target with his spear, allowing Orbulon to see the spear in action and learn to trust his instructor.

      Orbulon worried the Anubis might accidentally turn him into a shish kebab, but the Everlasting Flame burning brightly beside him instilled him with confidence. He stood proud, waiting for the Guardian to unleash the spear.

      The Fire Guardian pulled his arm back, aimed and hurled the spear. Orbulon chickened out. He saw the pointy piece of wood hurtling toward his forehead and he ducked, knocking over the wood target in the process. The wood target spun on its side like a giant coin. The spear ricocheted off its target and collided with the side of the bowl holding the Everlasting Flame. The bowl rolled off its stand, and like another giant coin, spun around a couple of times before falling on its face. With a slight hissing noise, the Everlasting Flame was no more.

      After the clap of the bowl hitting the ground reverberated throughout the room, silence echoed in its place. The sparring Petpets made no sound; the clang of their spears had ended. The Fire Guardian gaped. Orbulon's stomach growled, and the floodgates of noise opened. The Petpets chattered, spears clashed on the floor, and the Anubis squeaked - the sound of pressure building up in his chest like a kettle.

      "But... how..." he babbled. "It was only... it's not..."

      The pitter patter of little Symol feet came down the stairway into the cavern. The Founder gasped as his little eyes saw the not-so-Everlasting Flame. "What happened here?"

      "Your recruit did this!" squeaked the Fire Guardian; he was actually starting to sound prepubescent. "He must be a master saboteur to so precisely ricochet my spear into the Everlasting Flame!"

      The Founder shuffled around the bowl, looking at it from all sides, sniffing it with his button nose. All the while the Fire Guardian babbled about Orbulon's evil plan to destroy their "resistance."

     "No, Guardian, no," replied the Founder while shaking his head. "He couldn't possibly. He's not conniving enough for something like this - I mean, look at him! And why? Why the Everlasting Flame and not something important like the artillery?"

      "Not import-" Anubis could barely squeak the words out. "Not important! The Everlasting Flame is a symbol of Symol Hole's unconquerable spirit and unbreakable..."

      After that Orbulon sort of tuned them out. They argued for a few minutes while Orbulon pondered whether or not he would see that lovely velvet bed again. Life on the Space Station was so much simpler. Up there he could go around minding his own business, never noticed and never bothered. Orbulon noticed the Founder pointing at him, saying something.

      "...and you are never to return to Symol Hole again! You're just the most accident-prone creature I've ever - and anyway, neither of the Guardians will train you. So, get outta here."

      Orbulon was escorted by a buff Faellie up the never-ending maze of stairs. Orbulon had enjoyed his stay, but if the pampering cost this much grief it wasn't worth it. The Faellie helped him up out of the hole, and Orbulon stood blinking in the sunlight for a few minutes before being able to see the surrounding landscape. He wasn't sure how long he'd been down in the Symol's Hole, but the sun was shining bright over the planet, and the sky was still that funky blue color instead of black like it should be.

      The neon blue sky was the last straw. It hurt his eyes. So, once again, Orbulon vowed that he would get back to his fabulously dull life on the Virtupets Space Station. First step: get as close to the Space Station as possible by climbing up the highest piece of ground. After that, he'd figure something out.

      The tallest thing in eyeshot was the tree-covered hill he had rolled down before falling in that hole. Orbulon began to hike, which was not his favorite pastime. It wasn't his fault he couldn't walk fast - the Space Faerie made him with stubby legs. He hadn't ventured far into the forest when he saw a purple figure who looked disturbingly like that scary winged person on Mystery Island.

To be continued...

 
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Other Episodes


» Orbulon and the Founder of Symol Hole: Part One
» Orbulon and the Founder of Symol Hole: Part Three



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